LESHARA – An action taken at the June 4 meeting of the Leshara Village Board of Trustees came into question during a special meeting last week.
A June 18 meeting was called for bidding on gravel road repair and to discuss whether chickens should be allowed in town.
But after the minutes from the June 4 meeting were read, Board Member Dennis Beers questioned the appointment action of planning commission members. The minutes stated that the board approved Mike McLaughen, Randy Gertes, Bryan Parks, Norbert Quance and Shelly Burhan as the new commission.
Beers said he knew the discussion about the need for a new planning commission took place, but he did not understand it was a vote to appoint. He said he wanted it on the record he wanted to rescind his vote on that action.
His stated reason was because of an ongoing criminal investigation into one of the people appointed to the commission and he did not feel it was appropriate.
“This is still an ongoing investigation,” Beers said.
Last Friday, Saunders County Attorney Joe Dobesh confirmed an investigation was being conducted by his office, but declined to comment any further at the time.
At last week’s meeting, Beers also questioned if the entire action by the board should be rescinded.
Board Chairman Jason Camenzind said he was aware of the ongoing investigation of one of the appointed commission members and had visited about it with the League of Municipalities. He was advised by the League that the village’s best action was probably to take no further action at this time.
Camenzind said the board could revisit that position at a later time but for right now, the village was legally limited in action.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Leshara Resident John Behler questioned how the planning commission appointees were nominated.
Board Member Mel Ruhe-Langfeldt said a notice seeking planning commission members had been posted on the bulletin board outside of the village hall and interested persons were asked to contact village board members.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Camenzind told the Wahoo Newspaper that resignations from the town’s planning and zoning commission had left that group without any members and the town is required to have a planning commission.
The notice to fill the five-member planning commission was posted for about two months before enough interested people came forward. He said the five people appointed were the only ones that he was aware of who had expressed interest.